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This is a guide to the things we do know, from scientists, doctors and public health experts — a resource that changes alongside our understanding of this virus.

FAQ:  The Essential Coronavirus FAQ
MAP:  The real-time spread of coronavirus
STATE:  Tracking by State

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois is arguing a lawsuit between a state representative and Gov. J.B. Pritzker should remain in circuit court, after state Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office moved the case up to the federal level.

COVID-19 was both in the forefront and in the background during the abbreviated spring legislative session that Illinois lawmakers wrapped over the weekend. It was the focus of both the legislation and the politics in Springfield.

In the midst of a global pandemic, despite social distancing, and all while wearing face masks, Illinois state lawmakers approved a new state budget over the weekend totaling $43 billion. But that budget won’t be possible without heavy reliance on the federal government.

IL Secretary of State

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has set a timetable for offices around the state to open, allowing people to take care of drivers licenses, vehicle registrations, and other services.

As the hospitality industry continues to struggle amid the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois lawmakers approved a measure to allow bars and restaurants to serve cocktails for curbside pick-up and delivery. The bill awaits the governor’s signature.

Southern Illinois University

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Dan Mahony, as he guides the system in its plans for Fall 2020 amid the COVID-19 crisis.

debate graphic
Getty Images

Governor JB Pritzker holds a press briefing on the state’s current response and action plan for managing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Illinois.

The live stream will begin at 2:30 p.m.

On Memorial Day, Illinois health officials reported 1,713 new COVID-19 cases, along with 31 deaths.

The state's total positive cases climbed to 112,017 over the holiday weekend, and its death toll reached 4,884.

Reports across the country of retail workers being physically attacked for enforcing safety rules, like the wearing of face masks and social distancing, prompted Illinois lawmakers to take action.  A measure was passed getting tougher on those who commit such acts. 

Illinois lawmakers have approved a $40 billion state budget and a plan to address tax rates for a casino expansion during a whirlwind special session held amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Volunteers Needed To Comfort Isolated Seniors

May 25, 2020

Because of the COVID-19 order many homebound seniors are even more isolated.  And, for many,  any mail they get is mostly just bills. 

Illinois health officials on Sunday reported 2,503 new COVID-19 cases, along with 67 deaths.

The latest count shows Illinois' total positive cases now stands at 110,304, with 4,856 deaths since the pandemic began.

Illinois' COVID-19 count grew by 2,352 on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 107,796.

Saturday's report also added 75 deaths, growing the overall death toll to 4,790.

We’re continuing to answer questions about the coronavirus and COVID-19, and lately there have been a lot about states reopening. As that happens, how can you stay safe? And do the rules about masks, hand-washing and social distancing still apply?

Expanded voting-by-mail is coming to Illinois. Governor J.B. Pritzker said Friday he will sign the expanded voting measure into law.

A group of Chicago-based evangelical leaders plans to seek a virtual meeting with Gov. J.B. Pritzker because of “growing angst” about the rules he has set for religious gatherings.

Governor JB Pritzker says the state remains on track to enter Phase 3 of his "Restore Illinois" plan at the end of next week. At the same time, another 2,748 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday, along with an additional 110 deaths.

Friday's report brings Illinois total COVID-19 cases to 105,444 and total deaths to 4,715.

LOCAL CASE UPDATES (4:45pm Update)

Effingham County Health Department:

About 20 or so women were gathered for a late afternoon video conference. Some had glasses of wine, or cups of coffee. You could see pets in a few frames. It was March 26, when COVID-19 cases were beginning to ramp up in Indiana.

One of the women, Dr. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, posed a question: Was anyone else feeling guilty? 

COVID-19 Mask Makers Are Part Of A Bigger History

May 22, 2020
A collage of women wearing masks.
Karina Neill

As the U.S. struggles with shortages of personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic, volunteers have jumped into action. Around the country people are sewing masks, for healthcare workers and community members at risk for contracting COVID-19. But sewing for a cause fits into a much bigger history.

debate graphic
Getty Images

Governor JB Pritzker holds a press briefing on the state’s current response and action plan for managing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Illinois.

The live stream will begin at 2:30 p.m.

State of Illinois

Illinois' count of positive COVID-19 cases grew by another 2,268 on Thursday, bringing the state's overall total to 102,686.

The day's announcement also added 87 deaths, putting Illinois' death toll at 4,607.

On this edition of WSIU InFocus, we hear from Jean Rendleman Miner, Academic Advisor in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts at SIUC  and Rita Medina, Coordinator for Recruitment and Retention at the College, about the anxiety and uncertainty many college students are going through.

Getty Images

JB Pritzker holds a press briefing on the state’s current response and action plan for managing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Illinois.

The live stream will begin at 2:30 p.m.

A lawmaker who portrays himself as an outsider found himself on the outside Tuesday. A group of protestors, meanwhile, made their voices heard as state lawmakers convened for the first day of a special legislative session.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker Wednesday announced bars and restaurants can serve customers outside once the state takes the next step in his Restore Illinois plan.

They will still have to follow certain guidelines aimed at protecting patrons and staff.  


With more than 150 Illinois lawmakers meeting in a Springfield multi-purpose arena to enhance social distancing, some churches with large sanctuaries would like the same consideration.

Governor J-B Pritzker says his team is looking at all the ways for that to happen.

Even though all Illinois Secretary of State offices and Driver Services facilities remain closed right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials say drivers will still have plenty of time to take care of any transactions once the office re-open.

Illinois Public Health officials say 2,388 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified, along with an additional 147 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The new cases push Illinois' total positive COVID-19 test results above 100,00 - to 100,418. Total deaths now stand at 4,525.

SIH Participating In COVID-19 Plasma Study

May 20, 2020
A person's hands preparing to draw blood from a patient.
Creators Collective / Unsplash

Southern Illinois Healthcare is participating in a study on treating COVID-19 with convalescent plasma.

SIH is one of more than 2,000 sites participating in the study led by the Mayo Clinic. In order to be enrolled in the study, patients must be hospitalized with COVID-19. The study hopes to determine whether plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can be used to help severely ill patients recover or help prevent moderately ill patients from becoming sicker.

We're continuing to answer questions about the coronavirus and COVID-19, and the latest batch showed that there's still a lot of confusion about testing. Who needs it, how is it done, where is it done—and more.